Improving Client Communication With Integrated Telephony

by Clwyd Probert on February 15, 2020

Matt Cowell from Circle Loop talks about how integrated telephony can improve client communications. Matt covers systems integration with the HubSpot CRM and sales team efficiency.

Matt is going to be talking about CircleLoop. One of the things that again, a bit of a theme today is to get away from this concept of inbound as an entirely automated machine that just generates business for you. I think you're getting the idea here that some work is involved, that there's interaction required with customers and sometimes we forget that we're all inbound and it's all great, but at the end of the day we still:

  • Have to work with a telephone,
  • Have to pick up the phone,
  • Have to talk to people,
  • Have to engage with them,

Whether it's using video, whether it's using personal email or in fact telephones. So, having said that I'm going to pass over to Matt from CircleLoop.  He's much better than I am at talking about that. Thank you.

Matt Cowell - Introduction

Thank you very much. Hello everybody. A little bit of an intro, before I kick off. This isn't a Sales pitch by the way, so don't worry.

We've identified that businesses are actually becoming less and less personal. I'll tell you that story shortly. First of all, just a little bit about me. My name's Matt. I'm a Northerner as you can probably tell, so I've got a bit of a nosebleed the last couple of days. Especially with the credit card which just took a bit of a hammering.

Everything's so expensive here. Great to see you all anyway. We're based up in the North, we're a Technology start-up. We are about three years old actually and we specialise in cloud based technologies and today I'm talking to you about CircleLoop, which is our cloud based phone system. Those are my online credentials. If anybody wants to follow me, I'm not particularly interesting. So I'd probably recommend that you follow the bottom two rather than the top two, but feel free if you wish.

Anybody old enough to remember the 90s office? A few people are prepared to admit to that.

Matt Cowell - 90s office set up and telephone systems

I've strategically chosen sort of a grainy photo to answer the theatre really more than anything. In the 90s, businesses worked fundamentally differently to the way they work today. We were very much office based companies usually looking a little bit like that with booths. Everyone had their own desk and they probably had their name on it. We're all using those awful, great big computer systems. We all have desk phones and people weren't particularly mobile. Everybody was much more office based. Home-working wasn't really known in the 90s, I suppose it was coming through a little bit in America at that time. But actually nobody was doing it. So actually the way that phone systems worked back then kind of worked for office-based because they're all installed on the premises.

Matt Cowell - Desktop phones are now unused and mobile phones are now our main source of communicating with customers

Everyone had a desk phone and it rang when it was meant to and that was okay. But businesses in the 90s, I would argue were a lot more personal than businesses now. Emails were sort of coming through at that point; you were pretty out there if you were using things like email. We're all using fax. We were using the phone and we were talking to people. We're building relationships with people. We were managing customers' expectations using the phone and that started to slip away. Using the phone was a good way to keep customers engaged. Fast forward 20 years, also in modern offices tend to look a bit like this. So there's sort of almost a graveyard of desk phones which sit around the building don't get used.

When they ring, we just go like do you know what? I'll just use my mobile. So many businesses now, rather than using the desk phone people are using their own personal mobiles to make client calls. It's just not great.

  • Giving out your personal mobile number to your clients?
  • What happens if that person leaves the business?
  • Are they taking the entire address book with them?
  • Is it really that professional to be given your personal mobile number out to all of your clients?
  • Is it more professional to actually be able to keep that in one place?

I think a lot of the advances in technology have actually led to us going backwards in many ways. Particularly with the phone system and phone systems still now, today is still sold as if it's the 90s.

So if you order a phone system from one of the big providers now, they'll send the engineer along. The engineer will install the switch, and activate the line; they'll assign a number and plug in all the desk phones in for you. They'll mess around with your switch and put all the cables and then a few days later the numbers will go live and then everyone would sort of go testing the phone and the lines. It's still crazy how phone systems are still sold like it's the 90s and what's the use of desk phone when you've got a mobile phone workforce?

I'm based in the North, but today I'm in London. What use is my desk phone in Rosendale where our office is? Which is no use to me at all to me today whatsoever, so what's the point? So why have we given up on the phone, because businesses have really given up on this now. I think there's been a perception over the last few years that it's cheaper, so sending an email, it's cheaper and quicker.

 Is it more scalable?

Rather than having every time you get a new member of staff, you've got to buy him a desk phone and you've got to get the desk phone plugged in and assign a number to it. Or does it feel more modern? Actually do businesses feel that the phone is no longer relevant in the relationship with their customers anymore? Is it about audit trail? So if you are sending emails to your customers, you've got a paper trail, haven't you? If you're using a project management system or whatever, you've got that paper trail. Or is it because it's easier to hide? We're a generation of keyboard warriors aren't we? We're super, super hard as it were. When we get on social media and tell everyone what we think, but actually standing in front of somebody you often won't have the same views.

Matt Cowell - Support inboxes

I think there's a combination of these things that are involved and perhaps some of these things on the screen might even ring true to yourselves as well. But now, our support inboxes and our systems are starting to look like this. Because we've discouraged the use of the phone or because businesses have sort of subconsciously moved away from the phone. Now, we have support inboxes that looked like that every morning or we're having to disappoint customers with not being able to respond to their help enquiries and support and that starts to strain client relationships and because of the fact that we've tried to go digital all the time, we're requiring people to communicate with us in a particular way. Actually, it puts strain on relationships and something that could have been resolved in a 30 second phone call now takes 30 minutes on live chat or three hours by email or half a day by support tickets. Actually what we have found and something that we strongly believe in Circleloop is actually if we just pick up the phone, we can resolve pretty much anything in a matter of seconds.

“We can resolve pretty much anything in a matter of seconds.”

It really helps us:
  • Not just to build the relationship with the customer in the first place but;
  • Also to retain them,
  • To build the trust with them an;
  • Also to help them.

If there is something that they want to talk about rather than spending all day tapping away, pick up the phone and we're able to speak to that customer and help them.

"65 percent of customers still prefer to contact a business by phone."

So why aren't we doing it? Why are we still asking people why are we still communicating with new prospects by email? Why aren't we just picking up the phone and actually having a conversation with them? Incredibly, we've almost gone full circle in my view. Actually we've got to a point now, where 20 years since I guess using the phone was fashionable and using the phone was the norm and the done thing, I think it's now the way to stand out.

One of the ways, it's not the only way, these guys are going to tell you about the really cool stuff you can do with video and webinars to engage with customers as well, which I'm fully on board with. I also think that's pretty personable as well. But actually one of the ways to stand out is actually to be attainable. Build relationships with your customers. I'm not suggesting we go back to the 90s and I'll plug desk phones again and all that. But we've got the technology that can help you with this, but in a really scalable and inexpensive way. I am not on a one man crusade, but I'm going to call it a small crusade at the moment. But I invite you to join me on this crusade.

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So why aren't we doing it? Why are we still asking people why are we still communicating with new prospects by email? Why aren't we just picking up the phone and actually having a conversation with them? Incredibly, we've almost gone full circle in my view. Actually we've got to a point now, where 20 years since I guess using the phone was fashionable and using the phone was the norm and the done thing, I think it's now the way to stand out.

One of the ways, it's not the only way, these guys are going to tell you about the really cool stuff you can do with video and webinars to engage with customers as well, which I'm fully on board with. I also think that's pretty personable as well. But actually one of the ways to stand out is actually to be attainable. Build relationships with your customers. I'm not suggesting we go back to the 90s and I'll plug desk phones again and all that. But we've got the technology that can help you with this, but in a really scalable and inexpensive way. I am not on a one man crusade, but I'm going to call it a small crusade at the moment. But I invite you to join me on this crusade.

It's not just a Northern crusade. People from London are also allowed on this crusade. I'm calling it, Bring back the Phone 2019, and I'm calling it that because I couldn't think of a better name for it. I'm a one man crusade to bring the phone back into business for 2019 and I invite you to join me. The kicker is that your FDs face won't look like this either because it's actually very cost effective and easy to do. Why am I telling you all of this? So we're a Hubspot connect partner. That means that we've built technology that integrates with Hubspot and Hubspot has validated. So we've gone through a validation process with the Hubspot team and they've tested and verified the software.
Hubspot and Circleloop intergration


What does the CircleLoop and Hubspot integration do? First of all, just a tiny little bit about CircleLoop.  CircleLoop is a cloud based phone system, so it does away with all of the complexity under the hassle of traditional phone systems. As I said before, historically if you ordered a new phone system for your business. Someone will come along and engineer will do a site visit to scope out, what you need to come and plug a load of stuff in the provision some numbers. Then a few days later everything will go live. With CircleLoop, you don't need to do that, in fact, you don't even need to use desk phones if you don't want, you can use our applications.

“Your phone system comes with you”

So it runs in apps. You download the app to your computer system and your mobile. The phone system comes with you rather than you needing to leave it in the office. And some do re-direct, where you tap some numbers into the phone and hope that it finds you by forwarding it to your mobile. You don't need to worry about doing that with CircleLoop, your phone system comes with you. I have my business phone system in my pocket right now. It's on snooze just in case you're wondering so it won't ring. If anybody wants to reach me on any of our numbers, for example, our sales line or my direct dial, my mobile will ring and it will identify me that it's a business call. It will also identify who's calling me because we got it, synced up with Hubspot. It will also redirect it to another member of the team if I don't pick it up and I can manage all of that on the move.

What does CircleLoop and Hubspot do? Well, it does three key things. If you integrate Hubspot with CircleLoop, it helps you to massively improve efficiency and productivity in the business. It does that by doing three things. First of all, it syncs up your contacts in real time consistently. If I'm on the move today and my phone rings right now. If that's an existing customer or someone that's in our prospect database, it will identify me who's calling on my mobile. I can see that caller identification if I'm using the desktop application, it also gives me a link into Hubspot as well, so I can actually go straight to that contact record. The second thing that it does is that it gives me click to call. So from Hubspot, if you press the call button, it will actually place the call out through CircleLoop for you. So you can keep your team inside the CRM, which is actually a really efficient way of working and making sure that the right things have been done.

Matt Cowell - the smart features that Circleloop have to offer

You know talking before about using multiple different software platforms. This really is about trying to integrate this together to give you the ability to run your business through Hubspot and plug in the products around the outside that help you to do that. The third thing that it does, which is probably the most valuable, is that it automatically logs all of your calls. Within the Hubspot activity feed, every single call that is made, received, missed, attempted, voicemails, et Cetera. They'll get logged against that contact automatically. So if you've got sales people, for example, and I know how hard it is to get salespeople to update CRMs. Because I run a sales team and it's a nightmare, but with CircleLoop and Hubspot, I get that call logged. The other cool thing as well is that I can choose to record calls on CircleLoop if I wish and I can have the call recording sent into Hubspot as well.

Why is that good? Well, it's great for audit trail, something that I was talking about before. If moving back to using the phone as a primary method of communication in your business scares you because you don't have an audit trail. Well, now you do because CircleLoop will actually give you that call activity in the feed. It will allow you to log the call recording, it will log voicemails. It'll transcribe them for you, you get your whole activity within Hubspot feed and it's also great for things like handovers. If you work in the creative or digital sector, that sector is quite transient. So how do you maintain a consistent relationship with your clients? When you know that actually you might get 12 to 18 months out of somebody before they move on.

Ebook - Inbound Sales: Transform the way you sell

Well, things like this are ideal because it allows you for an entire history of the customer. You can listen back to the call recordings. Things like brief, if you're an organisation that takes briefs from customers and has to deliver on those briefs. Briefs often create don't they? There's really no proof quite often in terms of what was said and what wasn't said. Well, now there is because you can get that call recording and the call history straight into Hubspot. It's a great way of, number one, making your team more efficient because they no longer need to worry about logging the calls themselves. Number two, it's also about making the business more professional because if you've got all that information to hand. If you're a team leader within a sales team or account management team, etc.
And you want to use, you want to be able to track better in terms of the activity that's been done.

Reporting analytics and breaking down the information bit by bit

CircleLoop has onboard analytics that you can run reporting straight from. Broken down by user, broken down by team, broken down by number, so you've got everything you need. If you use CircleLoop with Hubspot, it actually resolves the whole phone piece for you and it actually gives you the reporting that you need as well on the back of it. It actually is really tight and from efficiency and productivity perspective it really helps you to make things easier, quicker, and a lot more personal. Just a little bit of bump to finish off with before you're around CircleLoop. CircleLoop is built around users not hardware. We are not hardware centric, you can use it with a desk phone if you wish, but most of our customers I would say 90 percent of our customers use it in the apps. Actually have moved away from the desk phone altogether.

It does everything. So I won't bore you with the list of features that CircleLoop has, but it does everything. Call forwarding, voicemail transcription, you can swap your dial out number. If you want to have a San Francisco office, now you can get yourself a San Francisco phone number and choose it for the dial out number. I could call you now from San Francisco and I won't do it because it'd be embarrassing. I'll show off that I Can ring you from San Francisco from 39th floor in Canary Wharf.

One of the big things about CircleLoop, one of the big things that we've tried to do is. We consider ourselves a technology disruptor. We're a challenger telco provider. The telecoms industry in the UK has a horrendous reputation, which is actually one of the challenges. Because no one wants to talk to you if you say you're a telco. We are trying to do things differently. Our vision very much is around taking the complexity and the jargon and the hassle out of telephony and also taking the unnecessary cost out of it. This is a no contract model; we don't lock you in for any period of time. We include all of our features in the subscription so you don't pay for bolt ons or add ons; there are no surprises in terms of the pricing. If you want to use the whole stack conference calling analytics call tracking, call recording, all of the features and the integrations, a simple per user subscription price. We're just trying to make things really simple.

Matt Cowell - the smart features that Circleloop have to offer

I know this is a Hubspot event and so some of these logos on the screen are probably not allowed and they'll probably be lynched later or possibly thrown out of the window but we do also integrate with a number of other CRM systems as well. We've built integrations for various communities. Basically if you use CircleLoop with Hubspot, we will guarantee that we will make your team more personal and more productive.

I'd be really keen to talk to you about CircleLoop, find a little bit more about the challenges that you face in terms of maintaining and managing your customer relationships. I'm also obviously happy to arrange a demo for you. We can talk to a bit more and understand how we might be able to help. Please join my one man crusade for 2019 and if you do genuinely have a better name for it, then feel free to put it forward and I'll update my slides for next time. We'll be delighted to tell you a bit more about how CircleLoop and Hubspot can really help you to drive some efficiency and bring personal back to your business.

Ebook - Inbound Sales: Transform the way you sell

 

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